What Free Speech?

02/09/2017

“Fear of serious injury alone cannot justify oppression of free speech and assembly… It is the function of speech to free men from the bondage of irrational fears.” – Louis D. Brandeis

 

The University of California at Berkeley was once the scene of perhaps the greatest example of free speech in America. I should know; I was there for a time. Some of the free speech was pretty radical by anyone’s standards. However, all viewpoints were allowed. That’s the beauty of free speech. No one truly has free speech unless everyone has it.

The recent violence on the campus of UC Berkeley shows that some students there disagree with the concept of free speech. An example of their thinking was on display recently in the university’s student newspaper, The Daily Californian, a sample of which is as follows:

  • “To people with platforms who decide when a protest should and should not be violent: You speak from a place of immense privilege. As I recently wrote in a tirade against this brand of idiocy, asking people to maintain peaceful dialogue with those who legitimately do not think their lives matter is a violent act.”

Comment: We are a Republic, a nation of laws. Therefore, no individual gets to decide    what is a “violent act.”

  • “…with President Trump threatening to cut UC Berkeley’s federal funding if it does not allow all opinions to be shared… the president is threatening the freedom of speech of these protesters.

Comment: No one violated the protestors free speech. The problem is the violence, not the rhetoric. In reality, the opposite is true; that is, the protestors caused other peoples’ free speech to be violated. You may hate what someone has to say, but you have to allow him to have his say. Otherwise free speech is no longer free.

  • “…the hate speech that fails to respect the humanity of undocumented people.”

Comment: The lack of respect is actually on the part of the violent protestors. Certainly, if any of these were my kids, I’d wonder who brainwashed them into hating America.  As Dana Carvey once said, “I think free speech is probably the coolest thing we have in this country, and again, you can label it hate speech and dismiss it, and then you’re allowed to censor it.”

  • “When mass call-ins, faculty and student objections, letter-writing campaigns, numerous op-eds (including mine), union grievances and peaceful demonstrations don’t work, when the nonviolent tactics have been exhausted — what is left?…These were not acts of violence. They were acts of self defense.”

Comment: Of course, this form of “self-defense” violates the civil rights of others. Self-defense? No further comment is necessary.

  • “I urge you to consider whether damaging the windows of places like banks and the Amazon student store constitutes ‘violence.’”

Comment: Suggest that we ask the people who had property damaged whether or not it was violence.

 

Yes, we are a nation of laws. When we cease to respect those laws, we spiral down into anarchy. At some point, we actually cease becoming a nation. Instead, we are hostage to mob rule. Perhaps, that’s what was intended all along by the violent protests.

 

“Without Freedom of Thought, there can be no such Thing as Wisdom; and no such Thing as publick Liberty, without Freedom of Speech; which is the Right of every Man, as far as by it, he does not hurt or control the Right of another. And this is the only Check it ought to suffer, and the only bounds it ought to know. This sacred Privilege is to essential to free Governments… Whoever would overthrow the Liberty of a Nation, must begin by subduing the Fteeness [sic] of Speech….”

 – Cato’s letters

As I mentioned in my last post, there was no hue and cry when President Obama imposed immigration restrictions in 2011.  However, the hypocrisy goes far beyond that, as witnessed by the following quotes:

 

  • “All Americans…are rightly disturbed by the large numbers of illegal aliens entering our country.  The jobs they hold might otherwise be held by citizens or legal immigrants.  The public service they use impose burdens on our taxpayers.  That’s why our administration has moved aggressively to secure our borders….”  – President Bill Clinton

  • “Even as we are a nation of immigrants, we are a nation of laws.  Undocumented workers broke our immigration laws and I believe that they must be held accountable, especially those that might be dangerous.  When I took office, I committed to fixing this broken immigration system and I began by doing what I could to secure our borders.  But today, our immigration system is broken and everybody knows it.  There are actions I have the legal authority to take as President…The actions I’m taking are not only lawful, they are the kinds of actions taken by every single Republican President and every single Democratic President for the past half-century….”  – President Barack Obama

Given what President Clinton and President Obama said and did, why is there even a debate today?

Immigration dominates the headlines these days and, even though I try to avoid the news, it’s constantly in my face. So, if I must, here’s my take.

One of the key issues in the immigration issue centers around “open borders.” Every nation decides for itself on this question. Look at China and Saudi Arabia, for example. Their immigration policies are unbelievably restrictive, especially when compared to America. For a nation to be considered sovereign, it must, therefore have the right to determine who can and who can’t migrate to their country. The Foreign Minister of the United Arab Emirates, Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed al Nahyan, has come out in support of Trump’s executive order because, as he says, the United States has the right to make a “sovereign decision” regarding its immigration policy.

Aside: Even Saint Thomas Aquinas understood that principle when he expounded on the subject in his seminal work, the Summa Theologica.

The truth is that in the context of recent world-wide immigration, diversity doesn’t work. It doesn’t work, in part, because immigrants have to want to assimilate. However, Muslims, in particular, are adamant about not assimilating. For example, a vast majority of Muslims in the UK have said that they consider themselves to be Muslims first and UK citizens second. Sharia Law, which is incompatible with Western culture, then becomes a major roadblock to assimilation. As Lee Kuan Yew, the former Prime Minister of Singapore, said about diversity, “In multiracial societies, you don’t vote in accordance with your economic interests and social interests, you vote in accordance with race and religion.” This should serve as a warning to all counties, but especially America.

Aside: To all the women protesting against the current immigration restrictions, perhaps you should go talk to the women of Europe, particularly in Sweden, who have seen rapes committed by Muslim immigrants skyrocket through the roof. You should ask those women if immigration is a good thing or not.

On a more practical note, America does not have an overabundance of resources. In fact, it’s basically bankrupt with the national deficit sitting at over three trillion dollars annually. Moreover, there are not enough jobs to go around and as a result there are some 41 million people on food stamps. Therefore, for every new immigrant there is one more person added to the unemployment rolls. So, for all of you who are promoting immigration, I suggest that you volunteer to give up your job for a new immigrant. I suspect, however, that no one will take me up on that offer, now will they?

What is really hard to fathom for some is that the immigration protestors never objected when Obama imposed similar immigration restrictions back in 2011.  Maybe, it’s because most of the protestors today are left-wing ideologues and opposing Trump’s immigration restrictions is in reality a political ploy to marginalize and demonize political opponents. Ain’t politics wonderful? That’s why I try to avoid the news whenever possible; so much of it is Fake News anyway.

 

 

The complete history of the Caucasian race has yet to be written. If some people have their way, it never will be.

Recent scientific studies on genetics and language indicate that the Caucasian race can be traced back to the vicinity of Anatolia (modern-day Turkey) some 6,000 -10,000 years ago. So too, other studies show that blue-eyed people, as well as blond hair I might add, also arose in the same general area and timeframe. To name a few, ancient Caucasians include Yazidis, Aryans and certain Egyptian pharaohs.

Of course, no one has ever ventured back beyond the 6,000-year threshold; back to the true origins of the Caucasian race. There are only a few options for where they came from, as follows:

  • Caucasians came from the stars (in other words, they are extraterrestrials).
  • Caucasians were genetically created by extraterrestrials. Nobel Prize winner Francis Crick could certainly agree with that, as is outlined in the Directed Panspermia Theory.
  • Caucasians came from a much older civilization (say, Atlantis).

The bottom line is this. Caucasians didn’t just materialize out of thin air. It’s what I call a “poof” moment. Supposedly, we all came out of Africa with black hair, black skin, dark eyes and a distinctively African skull. Then, poof, overnight in evolutionary terms, we got very large numbers of people with light-colored skin, hair and eyes and a Nordic skull to boot.

Perhaps, the reason that there is very little discussion of the above alternatives is that it they are considered politically incorrect. Maybe, we are not supposed to know man’s true origins. Maybe, Jean-Jacques Rousseau was right, then, when he said that, “The falsification of history has done more to mislead humans than any single thing known to mankind.” Maybe, the world would be a better place, though, if we actually knew the truth. Maybe the Yazidis already know.

 

“History is a pack of lies we play on the dead.”

     – Voltaire

 

A recent study by research and analysis gurus, the Economist Intelligence Unit, says that America is now a flawed democracy due to a steep decline in Americans’ trust in their government, elected representatives and political parties.

Slight correction.  America has never been a democracy, it’s a republic. It’s like calling a filet mignon a hamburger. If you don’t know the difference, you should look it up. Are you listening there at the Economist?

The Real Israel

01/16/2017

Once upon a time, almost half-way around the world the biblical kingdom of Israel existed; that is, until it was wiped off the map by the Roman Empire. Today, the country of Israel has been resurrected but there is something very strange about it – almost unrecognizable in fact. You see, it’s now very different, geographically speaking. So, why and how did that happen?

In biblical times, Israel existed as two kingdoms; one was called Judea and the other Samaria. Interestingly enough, those two kingdoms make up, more or less, what today is referred to as the West Bank. Yes, the West Bank rather than Israel. How does one explain how the creation of a 20th century Jewish homeland never had them return to what was truly home for them. It’s sort of like someone who grew up in New York City going back home as an adult to live in New Jersey. How does that make any sense?

Well, actually there is one way that this all makes sense. The reality is that the Jewish homeland was never about geography, but rather about politics. Today, more than half of modern-day Israel is made up of the Negev Desert, which could never be considered to be a homeland for anyone, with the exception maybe of the Bedouins who have lived there for thousands of years. Further, important biblical cities/sites like Bethlehem, East Jerusalem, Masada, Jericho and Qumran are, today, all in the West Bank.

So, the true Jewish homeland is really what is now referred to as the West Bank and not some arbitrary lines drawn on a map by some politicians who carved up what was then British Palestine. The West Bank was also then part of Palestine and later became part of Jordan. After the Six-Day War in 1967, Jordan (having lost the war) ceded the West Bank to Israel, and so it remains today. Therefore, why would anyone expect that Israel would give up their true homeland? Why? Would you?

 

Epilogue

Palestine has never existed as a country, so it’s hard to see why it should exist today. This is especially true since the majority of British Palestine was spun off into an Arab nation that today is called Jordan and which is populated predominately by Palestinians. That’s why King Hussein, the former king of Jordan, said that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.

Of course, Jordan could just become a Palestinian state (as opposed to be being a Saudi/Hashemite kingdom). However, that would be too easy. Why promote a peaceful solution when you can promote one that creates chaos instead.

 

 

Palestine Fake News

01/06/2017

So, Palestine is back in the news again. One really has to ask the question why. That is, why do the Palestinians deserve a homeland?

In recent days, the UN Security Council passed a resolution whereby Israeli settlements in the West Bank were deemed to be illegal (i.e. occupied territories). I say “deemed to be” because the UN Security Council has no legal power to tell any sovereign nation what to do. If we’re going to play the “occupied territories” card, it would only be fair to first demand that China give Tibet its freedom back or that America return the country to the Native Americans. By definition, then, the West Bank, Tibet and America are all occupied territories. The West Bank arguably falls into this category because it was won as the result of a war… and the treaty that ended that war said that the West Bank now belonged to Israel. So, that should be the end of it, right?

Aside: The fake news is that an actual, sovereign nation of Palestine has never existed; not even in biblical times. Some scholars say that a Palestinian identity did not even become a reality until after 1948, with some saying as late as 1967. Ethnically, Palestinians are actually no different from other Arabs living throughout the Middle East.

However to understand the politics of the present, one has to know a little something about the politics of the past. At the conclusion of World War I, the former Ottoman Empire was carved up and a part of it was given the name Palestine. Arabs, Christians and Jews lived in Palestine at that time and they were all considered to be Palestinians. Palestine was governed by the British under what was called the British Mandate of Palestine. Part of Palestine would later be spun off and become the Arab state of Transjordan. In 1948, Transjordan (now called Jordan) and other Arab states invaded the remainder of Palestine (then called Mandatory Palestine). The trigger for the war was Israel’s declaration of independence. The resulting treaty that ended the war gave the West Bank to Transjordan with the remainder of Mandatory Palestine recognized as the Jewish state of Israel.

Those borders remained in place until the Six – Day War of 1967. That war was initiated by various Arab nations, including Jordan, who still did not recognize the creation of the state of Israel. At the conclusion of that war, Jordan ceded the West Bank to Israel. It’s interesting to note that The United Nations did not call for a homeland for the Palestinian Arabs at that time.

However today, some fifty years later, politicians have reinvented the issue of a separate Palestinian state. Never mind that the biggest minority population in the Middle East, the Kurds, still do not have a homeland of their own; never mind that an Arab nation (Jordan) was previously carved out of Palestine and could be used to provide for a Palestinian state; and never mind that the West Bank is, more or less, the biblical Jewish lands of Judea and Sumeria, the loss of which was the reason for a Jewish homeland in the first place.

Finally, and most importantly, never mind that the Palestinian Arabs still do not recognize Israel as a sovereign state as evidenced by their rejection of John Kerry’s recent two-state solution. In those circumstances, why would anyone want to create a Palestinian state which would be next door to a nation (Israel) that they, the Palestinians, do not recognize, a nation that they would like to wipe off the map? After all, that’s how we got the Arab-Israeli War of 1948 and the Six-Day War of 1967. So, you have to ask yourself if the real reason the politicians want to create a Palestinian homeland is to create a lasting peace or to start a war. Last I checked, no one makes money off of peace, only off of wars. Fake peace anyone?

 

“The truth is that Jordan is Palestine and Palestine is Jordan.”  –  King Hussein of Jordan

 

Fake News

11/30/2016

The topic of so-called Fake News is prominent in the headlines these days. However, it’s just one person’s opinion as to whether news is fake or not. After all, one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter, right?

So, what if anything should one make of the furor over Fake News? Most of the debate seems to center around the mainstream media vs. certain alt-right internet sites. However, differing opinions are in reality not necessarily differing viewpoints. By that, I mean that some opinions are in reality based on ideology, ideologies that often do not require proof. These ideologies are the result of agendas of control which are not interested in the truth, but rather only in the promulgation of the ideology itself.

Aside: Perhaps, the American people have already decided this issue since the mainstream media’s approval rating has fallen to around 6%. More to the point, when you lose credibility your ideology suffers (i.e. you lose elections).

Beyond the obvious debate concerning the media, there is a less obvious example with regards to ideology shaping the world that we live in. I’m talking about one of my favorite whipping boys – science. As philosopher Paul Feyerabend put it, “Thus science is much closer to myth than scientific philosophy is prepared to admit… it is inherently superior only for those who have already decided in favour of a certain ideology, or who have accepted it without having ever examined its advantages and its limits.”  Yes, even in science, any process inherently begins with a person’s ideology.

A couple of well-known scientists who admitted to what Feyerabend said about ideology are Edwin Hubble and Richard Lewontin, as follows:

Such a condition would imply that we occupy a unique position in the universe…The hypothesis cannot be disproved but it is unwelcome… Therefore we disregard this possibility…. the unwelcome supposition of a favoured location must be avoided at all costs…. Such a favoured position is intolerable…Therefore, in order to restore homogeneity, and to escape the horror of a unique position…must be compensated by… spatial curvature. There seems to be no other escape.” – Edwin Hubble, astronomer

“Our willingness to accept scientific claims that are against common sense is the key to an understanding of the real struggle between science and the supernatural. We take the side of science in spite of the patent absurdity of some of its constructs, in spite of its failure to fulfill many of its extravagant promises of health and life, in spite of the tolerance of the scientific community for unsubstantiated just-so stories, because we have a priori commitment, a commitment to materialism.  It is not that the methods and institutions of science somehow compel us to accept a material explanation of the phenomenal world, but, on the contrary, that we are forced by our a priori adherence to material causes to create an apparatus of investigation and a set of concepts that produce material explanations, no matter how counter-intuitive, no matter how mystifying to the uninitiated. Moreover, that materialism is absolute, for we cannot allow a Divine Foot in the door.” – Richard Lewontin, geneticist

So, is it theory or is it fact? Is it real or is it fake? How is a person to know? Maybe, we should just play another one of those videos from physicist Michio Kaku. He wouldn’t lie to us…now would he?

 

Epilogue

One needs to keep in mind that things are rarely what they seem. In reality, it’s the people crying Fake News who are the ones putting out the Fake News. It’s a strategy taken right out of the playbook of Saul Alinsky. Of course, that’s just one man’s opinion, isn’t it? No doubt some would even claim it’s Fake News.

 

 “Everything is backwards, everything is upside down. Doctors destroy health, lawyers destroy justice, psychiatrists destroy minds, scientists destroy truth, major media destroys information, religions destroy spirituality and governments destroy freedom.” 
    – Michael Ellner

 

 

I read a post the other day where a reader commented that one should follow God’s will. That comment immediately raised a couple of questions, at least for me. First off, how do we know that God has a will? At first blush, maybe that seems like a pretty innocuous question. However, how does anyone really know? After all, The Pascal Wager states that, “If there is a God, He is infinitely incomprehensible” (i.e. the finite cannot conceive of the Infinite).

That, of course, begs the second question. That is, what kind of a life form might God be? However, we first probably need to define “will,” as in God’s will. The Free Dictionary says that will is “The mental faculty by which one deliberately chooses or decides upon a course of action.” In that case, I suppose, God has to be considered to be some sort of a physical life form. The Bible confirms this as it says that God was a man, specifically referring to God as Him.

Aside: Of course if God was a man, then who created God?

Now, I know that some people would say that God does not have to be a Him; that God could be a She or even an It. Fair enough. However, consider this. Some researchers/historians, myself included, believe that the Genesis story (in particular the Creation and Flood stories) was borrowed from older Sumerian writings.

Aside: That was only natural, in a way, since the Israelites actually were descendants of the Sumerians through Abraham.

In the ancient Sumerian writings, God (or more accurately the gods) is referred to as Him because he actually is a man – a real flesh and blood man. This is why the Bible says that man (Adam) was created in God’s image, (i.e. the image of a male, human being).

Aside: That is, man and God have nearly identical DNA.

Naturally, all of this raises more questions than it answers. For example, is God the Prime Creator? Well, certainly, the god of Genesis was the creator of man, at least the modern-day version of Homo sapiens. As for being the creator, the Bible actually says that God is not the Prime Creator. In Deuteronomy 32:8-9, it states, “When the Most High divided to the nations their inheritance, when he separated the sons of Adam, he set the bounds of the people according to the number of the children of Israel. For the Lord’s (Yahweh) portion is his people; Jacob (Israel) is the lot of his inheritance.” This shows that Yahweh was, at best, a lower god since Yahweh was subordinate to the Most High. Further, in John 1:18, John says that ““No one has ever seen God.” Of course, John was speaking about the spirit form of God, so the physical god of Genesis could not be God, according to John.

Back to the issue of God’s will. If God was an intelligent life form with a physical body, by definition he would almost certainly have a will. God then might impose his will on man, if he so chose, similar to what happened in so many of the biblical stories. The problem is that the so-called god of Genesis is not God, as in the Prime Creator. In that case, why worry about god’s will at all? Indeed, why even worship Yahweh?

…Or perhaps, the “god concept” is really just a distraction to keep us from connecting with our real Creator.

 

Epilogue

As Yahweh told man, you shall have no other gods before you. Hopefully, you can now see how that Bible verse makes some sense. That is, there were many Yahweh-type entities running around in ancient times. Yahweh was simply one of many (see Deuteronomy 32:8-9 above). In fact, the Israelites were polytheistic for thousands of years, even after Moses. Yahweh was an important god but the goddess Asherah was just as important, perhaps even more so. However, with the introduction of monotheism, the Israelites were told to have no other gods before them – and certainly not the gods of the Sumerians, the gods of Abraham.

 

The cosmos is within us. We are made of star-stuff. We are a way for the universe to know itself.”  – Carl Sagan

 

P.S. Of course, “the universe” Sagan mentions is not a life form (i.e. it cannot know itself). When reading his quote, therefore, you need to replace the word “universe” with the word “Creator”.

Imagine

09/29/2016

“There is no such thing as death, life is only a dream, and we are the imagination of ourselves.”  – Bill Hicks

Imagine that you are a TV monitor looking at another TV monitor. That’s exactly how one’s eyesight works. Of course, you have other senses and they all send messages to the brain where they are interpreted and communicated (fed) to your consciousness. Collectively, then, your perception of reality is defined as the sum total of all these electrical signals which have been transmitted to your brain and, then, subsequently interpreted by it.

Scientists say that our decisions are made in the brain (mind) before we are actually  consciously aware of them. So, it seems that we need to reassess who and what we really are. Consider this – are we more than just our physical bodies, more than just our conscious minds?

Science is continually breaking new ground in their quest to define creation. For example, MIT cosmologist Max Tegmark believes the universe is a mathematical structure. Of course, mathematics, by definition, is information. More to the point, a mathematical structure implies intelligence. Then, there is a new scientific field of inquiry called DNA Wave Genetics which postulates that the genome of the highest organisms is considered to be a bio-computer which forms the space-time grid framework of a bio-system. The logical extension of that theory is that we exist in a bio-system created by a bio-computer which is none other than our own DNA. But, then, who created our DNA?

If you are religious, you no doubt believe that you have a “soul.” However, what then is a soul if not another layer of information which defines who or what we are? Indeed, that information/soul might even come from a higher dimension than the three-dimensional universe that we “exist” in. After all, some cosmologists and physicists believe that there are more than three dimensions in the universe (four counting space/time).

Since science has theorized that there are such things as parallel universes, perhaps we exist in more than one universe at the same time. However, if we are multi-dimensional beings, what then is creation? Well, no less than Carl Jung offered up that all of creation is subjective, a dream…and we are the dreamers. Maybe, Bill Hicks was on to something.